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First a couple of classics from Dire Straits.
Ladies Racing on Outrageous Fortune
Sailing speed records on the Waitamata Harbour
World Match Racing Tour Launches New Website
Tasman Trespasser 11
RYA Volvo Dinghy Show
18ft Skiffs – Club Championship – Race 13
Jules Verne Trophy – Groupama3 180:00 west to east
Achmed the dead terrorist
Time Flying By and Heading North
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Sorry I haven’t updated you all in a while, the last few days have just flown by all of a sudden without my noticing. Time seems to be passing very strangely at the moment, flying by in great chunks at a time. But then occasionally dragging by minute by minute. But fast or slow, I’m still enjoying every minute of it all.
You’ve probably noticed on the tracker that Ella’s Pink Lady has been headed north again over the last few days. As usual, we’ve headed to lower latitudes to avoid the worst of a weather system passing to the south. The wind is expected to rise a bit as it passes later today, but it shouldn’t be too uncomfortable.
Right now it’s perfect sailing, with 20 knots of wind and sunshine. Life on board is same old, same old with the little ins and outs keeping me happy. As much as I’m looking forward to it, getting back home is going to be quite a shock, as I’ve really worked myself into my own groove out here.
Ladies racing on Outrageous Fortune
Sailing speed records on the Waitamata Harbour
Laurie Jury’s new Deamon 8.5 completed the Bayswater to ODM challenge in 2 minutes and 23 seconds!!! Beat that.
Geralda set the fastest time for a yacht under 6.5 meters to sail from ODM to the yellow Bayswater marker. the time to beat 3 mins 39 seconds
World Match Racing Tour Launches New Website
New WMRT WebsiteLONDON/KUALA LUMPUR, 24 February 2010 – World Match Racing Tour (WMRT), the world’s leading professional sailing series, announced the launch of its new website, www.wmrt.com, today. The new website features a fresh modern design, better and more intuitive navigation and a wealth of information about the Tour.
The ‘multimedia’ section starts with the gallery which has been designed to give visitors to the website an easier way to view the pictures taken at the Tour events and to help media compile and download photos for editorial use. A ‘favourites’ list can also be generated and, for registered users, downloaded as a compressed (zip) file.
Existing registered users need not worry about registering again as their details have been transferred to the new site automatically. New Subscribers however, will need to fill in a simple on-line form to gain access and use the ‘favourites’ list.
A new ‘Videos’ section has been created to allow recent clips to be viewed right on the front page and also in other sections of the website. A larger view of the video clips are available in the ‘video gallery’, categorised into easy to find channels based on events and years that events took place.
Huge Gains // Day 40 & 41
Over the past 36 hours Shaun has made a whopping 150km east!
So at present he is 560km from Taranaki, his preferable landing point, or 410km from Westport. It is still impossible to pinpoint his landing point as he is still at the mercy of the weather but he is starting to feel that New Zealand is reeling him in and is very positive.
Shaun is the furtherest south he’s been yet and today he really felt the cold. At one stage he boiled his drinking water and drank it hot to try warm himself from the inside!
Still a concern is Shaun’s water situation. He is now below 15 litres of reserve water however this afternoon had collected 2 litres of rain water.
Plenty on offer at Dinghy Show
With over 200 exhibitors from sailing clubs, classes and associations to commercial businesses, the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show has everything the dinghy sailor needs all under one roof.
RYA Volvo Dinghy Show 2009. Credit Louisa Mamakou / TKZ
Over the weekend of 6-7 March the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show 2010 at Alexandra Palace, London, will play host to over 200 exhibitors who will fill the exhibition halls with everything you need to get started or improve your sailing.
If you’re looking for new kit checkout stand D10, where Azure Wear have special prices on gloves and clothing, or Performance Sailsports (stand A16) who will be exhibiting the Zhik clothing range which has been developed alongside a team of multiple Olympic and world champions.
For all those visitors interested in new boats, drop by one of the many class associations who are exhibiting their newly developed models such as A-Rater (stand B14) who will be presenting an innovative composite Thames ‘A’ Rater, the first new design in 20 years, or the F18 Class Association (stand B20) who have the new Shockwave design on display, which won the Round Axel, the biggest catamaran race in the world.
The 2009 Giltinan Championship winning crew of Euan Mc Nicol, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas were the masters of the dreadful conditions which prevailed during Race 13 of the Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship on Sydney Harbour today.
With Euan Mc Nicol replacing Michael Coxon for today’s race, the former champion crew showed all their skills in bringing Thurlow Fisher Lawyers home a 11m26s winner over Gotta Love It 7, which was also skippered by a replacement, Jonathan Whitty. Third place went to Project Racing (Andy Budgen), which was a further 33s back in third place.
With two more races still to be sailed in the championship, Gotta Love It 7 holds a one point lead over Thurlow Fisher Lawyers. Gotta Love It 7 has 47 points, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers 48, Smeg (Nick Press) 73, Rag & Famish Hotel (John Harris) 98, Project Racing 99 and Yandoo (John Winning) 105. The race was sailed over the South East course in extremely light wind conditions for most of the course. The fleet was split early in the race when nine of the fleet went to the west of Shark Island on the first windward leg to Rose Bay. These boats gained from a southerly shift in the breeze with Gotta Love It 7 holding a 30s lead as spinnakers were set for the long run to Robertson Point.
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Kinder Caring Home Nursing (Brett Van Munster) and Project Racing were together behind ‘7’, with Smeg, RWD Technologies (James Birdsall), Yandoo, appliancesonline.com.au (Warwick Rooklyn) and Boatmate Shipwrights (Jason Waterhouse) following. All of these boats had gone to the west while the first skiff from the east of the island was De’Longhi, which was in tenth place.
Gotta Love It 7 held a 40s lead over Thurlow Fisher Lawyers at the bottom mark and still held a 17s advantage at Clarke Island. Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was superior on the spinnaker run to Chowder Bay where the two leaders went around side by side. On the following work into Rose Bay, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers powered away to a 1.35 lead.
Some ‘hairy’ moments on the loop across the harbor from Rose Bay to Taylor Bay gave Gotta Love It 7 a chance but generally Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was always in control before going on to a very big win. Rag & Famish Hotel lost all chance early in the race when she was among the boats caught in windless conditions shortly after the start. Rag came back strongly to finish fourth.
The next race of the Club Championship will be sailed on 14 March, and the last race of the championship on 28 March.
www.flying18s.com and www.18footers.com.au. Video coverage will also be shown on www.18footers.com.au.
Team Aqua wins a tough battle against Artemis
Chris Bake and his Team Aqua win the fleet regatta after a fantastic final battle whilst Torbjorn Tornqvist and Artemis conquer the Al Maktoum Sailing Trophy (the combination of the match race and fleet race rankings) ahead of Pieter Heerema’s No Way Back and Markus Wieser’s Team Sea Dubai.
February 27, 2010 – The conditions were very difficult for the last day of the Al Maktoum Sailing Trophy RC 44, with a very shifty breeze blowing between 8-15 knots and a pale sky covered with sand and dust and a visibility reduced to half a mile.
Team Aqua, Artemis and to a lesser extent Ceeref were in a position to win the fleet race ranking this morning. BMW ORACLE Racing took the best start at the pin end whilst Aqua managed to find clean air in the middle of the line. Things weren’t going that well for Artemis, who ended up sailing in the other team’s turbulences. A massive right shift made the Swedish team’s life even harder whilst giving a nice edge to No Way Back and Team Aqua. In a normal race, this would have been it but this definitely wasn’t a normal race. Indeed, the gusts, the shifts and the marks of course were hardly noticeable due to the dust.
“We felt that the temperature was dropping brutally”, explained No Way Back’s owner Pieter Heerema at the end of the race. “This was a clear indication that the wind would turn right and blow from offshore.” Indeed, the wind started veering in the middle of the second beat, sending half of the fleet way over the lay line and giving a beautiful opportunity to Artemis to catch up. The wind carried on turning right during the last spinnaker ride, forcing the boats to finish under jib however without affecting the results much. No Way Back won the race ahead of Team Aqua and Puerto Calero, whilst Artemis recovered well, going from last to fourth and keeping a chance to win the overall title.
With four points between Team Aqua and Artemis ahead of the last race, all remained possible. Ceeref was also still in a position to grab the second place from Artemis. However, a premature start in the last race immediately made this look unlikely.
This last race was a strange one. The wind had shifted by almost 180 degrees since the first regatta and the land couldn’t be seen. Many teams looked disorientated and didn’t manage to adopt their usual pre-start routine. Two boats started prematurely, whilst many were late. Minutes later, Artemis refused a very basic port-starboard priority to its direct opponent Team Aqua. Chris Bake had to crash tack for the second time in two days to avoid a bad collision. After completing its penalty, Artemis ended up rounding the top mark in last for the second consecutive time.
The wind carried on turning to the right and the last beat and spinnaker ride turned into reaches. No Way Back once again benefited from its tactician Ray Davies’ fantastic understanding of the situation to win a second race in a row, ahead of Puerto Calero – also excellent today. Thanks to this achievement, No Way Back gains one place in the overall ranking ahead of Ceeref. “It’s a shame, commented Ceeref’s owner Igor Lah at the end of the day. “We miss the fleet race ranking podium for one point and this costs us three places in the overall ranking. We would have finished second and we end up fifth!”
Well known for his spectacular come-backs since last year’s Gold Cup – and this week’s match race – Pieter Heerema’s No Way Back is the winner of the day; he ends up third in the fleet race ranking and second overall.
However, the fight for victory was happening at the back of the fleet, between Team Aqua and Artemis. Both teams had misfortunes during this race. Artemis’s spinnaker got twisted whilst Team Aqua took the very conservative – yet inefficient – decision not to raise theirs until the last quarter of the last leg. Artemis finally crossed the arrival line in sixth whilst Team Aqua finished eighth: both teams’ worse result in the event. Nevertheless, Team Aqua wins the fleet race title whilst Artemis finishes second. Already third of the match race ranking, the Swedish team also conquers the overall Al Maktoum Sailing Trophy ahead of No Way Back and an excellent Team Sea Dubai, winner of the match race event and fifth in the fleet race ranking.
The next regatta of the RC 44 Championship Tour will take place in very different conditions, in the Austrian mountain lake Traunsee, on April 20 – May 4.
Chris Bake, helmsman, Team Aqua: “We were confident this morning and we didn’t have any specific plan of action against Artemis. The last race was really tough: we went from last to first and back to the bottom of the ranking again… But as Artemis was struggling too it never became a real issue.”
Pieter Heerema, helmsman, No Way Back: “This is a very good start to the season and I am delighted. Today, Ray Davies had his famous “feeling”, and everything worked perfectly.”
Igor Lah, helmsman, Ceeref: “We were really struggling today, it was a very strange day and this sand in the air was awful: we couldn’t see where we were going. It was a great week, but we are very disappointed because one point in the fleet race costs us the podium in both the fleet race ranking and the overall.”
Daniel Calero, helmsman, Islas Canarias Puerto Calero: “I am happy with our results today and I feel that we have been improving a little bit. Today was very difficult and we managed to keep in the game throughout the day; this was positive. However I don’t think that the results reflect what we deserve. For example in the match, we have lost many races because of tiny details. We just need to fight harder but the season is still long.”
Jules Verne Trophy 2009 – 2010
The sailing conditions have become tougher over the past few hours as a low catches up with Groupama 3. Indeed the current aim for the giant trimaran is to try to stay at the front of this system until it rounds Cape Horn… To pull this off she will have to maintain a high speed to benefit from what is expected to be a NW’ly breeze as far as the Falkland Islands.
Still faster than Orange 2, the giant trimaran is having to cover more ground to reach Cape Horn and hence her lead continues to yo-yo today… When Groupama 3 switches onto a NE’ly course, she distances herself from the direct route, and when she gybes, as she did on Sunday evening, she makes gains. The upshot of this is that her lead over the reference time changes according to the manoeuvres, with dramatic fluctuations from one hour to the next. Ultimately though, Franck Cammas and his men still have a lead of nearly a day over Bruno Peyron and his crew…
“Right now we’re pretty much on a SE’ly course, but we’re going to gybe again at lunchtime tomorrow, and then again to get onto a direct course towards the Horn… We’ve had some choppy seas over the past few hours, but they’re gradually becoming more regular now” explained Loïc Le Mignon at the 1130 UTC radio link-up with Groupama’s Race HQ in Paris.
On the look-out for ice
The crew aboard Groupama 3 have been eating a lot more over the past few days due to the persistent cold reigning over the Pacific Ocean. The consumption of calories is considerably larger the longer you’re at sea (one month on the water already) and the more the temperatures drop to close to zero degrees Celsius.
“As a member of both the technical crew and the sailing team, I consider that the trajectory is being well managed: we can make very fast headway without having big seas. We’re not cutting the corner but it’s still very agreeable. Right now it’s rather cold: the gloves are out and we’re keen to round Cape Horn to dry things out… We’re eating a lot more and we aren’t lacking in food as we have been during other attempts. We’ve run out of our special Lannilis bread already though…”
“We’re sailing in a steady wind of up to 37 knots, and the seas are fairly chaotic and pretty big. It’s not easy to negotiate… It’s very wet on deck and the helmsmen are trying to protect themselves behind the windscreen, which is in a very sad state of repair, held together by lines. There’s a cross swell with a few high waves (2-3 metres) and the boat comes to a standstill in a wave from time to time. We’re being shaken about quite a lot and it’s very uncomfortable. Fatigue has set in and the manoeuvres are a lot more laborious. We’re having to remain prudent” indicated Jacques Caraës at the 1130 UTC radio-link up with Groupama’s Race HQ in Paris.
A detour to the North
Beneath squalls but with fairly acceptable visibility, Groupama 3 is also distancing herself from the ice field which has been pinpointed to the SW of Cape Horn. Of course this trajectory isn’t ideal for completing what has been a rather aggressive Pacific and the giant trimaran is losing miles sailing 25° from the shortest route. A little over 250 miles ahead of the reference time this Monday lunchtime, this lead will shrink even further until the point where they put in a gybe. Added to this, Orange 2 was very quick over this section of the round the world with a VMG of thirty knots for three days…
“We’re being forced to cover additional ground by heading up to the ENE and the gybe isn’t scheduled before tomorrow, Tuesday, once the wind has shifted round to the NW. The upshot of this is a big detour to the North, but we have no other choice… We’re not getting helped along on our way to Cape Horn! The low to the South is going faster than us: it will roll over the top of us and after the gybe we’re going to have to be careful as the sea will still be very heavy. This disturbed system will pass into Drake’s Passage, leaving a very messy Pacific in its wake! We’re going to lose ground but we’ve just got to put up with it. We have the whole Atlantic to open up a lead after that. We know that it’s going to be full-on so we’re not going to show off in a situation such as this, which isn’t the easiest of passage.”
Le Maxi Banque Populaire V reporte sa tentative de Trophée Jules Verne à l’automne 2010
lundi 01 mars 2010 – 14h45
“The Maxi Banque Populaire V postpone his attempt to Jules Verne Trophy in the fall of 2010″
Malgré une période d’attente et d’étude des opportunités de départ entamée dès la mi-novembre 2009, Pascal Bidégorry et ses hommes n’ont pu trouver le créneau nécessaire à leur tentative de record dans le Trophée Jules Verne. Dans ces circonstances, le Team Banque Populaire décide aujourd’hui de remettre à l’automne prochain son rendez-vous avec le tour du monde en équipage.